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Preparing for Next Year’s RSV Immunization Campaign Amid Shortages

The Biden administration has taken steps to address the shortage of RSV immunizations by engaging with drug manufacturers to ensure these medications are accessible through the private market.

In a recent meeting, officials emphasized the urgency for manufacturers like Sanofi and AstraZeneca to meet the increasing demand as the winter season approaches. Moreover, proactive planning for next year’s projected demand was also discussed.

This year marked a significant milestone as infants and seniors were able to receive immunizations against RSV with the approval of the monoclonal antibody Beyfortus from Sanofi and AstraZeneca, as well as the vaccine Arexvy from GlaxoSmithKline. 

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However, the demand for these immunizations surpassed expectations, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to advise doctors to reserve doses of Beyfortus for infants at the highest risk of severe RSV disease.

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The CDC specifically recommends Beyfortus for infants under 8 months old who are born during or entering their first RSV season, which typically occurs in the fall and peaks in winter.

Additionally, infants between 8 and 19 months old who face an increased risk of severe RSV disease may also receive the vaccine if they are entering their second RSV season.

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Credit: DepositPhotos

To address the shortage, the CDC recently released an additional 77,000 doses of Beyfortus through the federal Vaccines for Children Program, aiming to enhance its availability. These efforts are crucial in ensuring that infants most vulnerable to RSV are protected. 

The White House’s meeting with drug manufacturers not only focuses on addressing the current needs but also emphasizes the importance of preparing for next year’s demand for immunizations.

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